'sup, it's your boy Clive Martin, regular VICE contributor and rap game David Attenborough. Unlike most of the misanthropes here, I actually really like people, so much so that studying them is kind of a hobby of mine. Seriously, I watch people like racists watch Top Gear. So I thought it would be worthwhile for me to put some of my wasted anthropological expertise to work and try and shed some light on that thing we call humanity. So join me as I take you on a guided tour of my Human Zoo, just don't touch the animals, because they'll probably headbutt you.
This week, the new iPhone was released and everyone lost their minds with excitement. I've got nothing against iPhones, really; they look cool, and I'm sure they're vastly superior to my £11.99 "Orange Dallas". But just imagine being the kind of person who gives a flying fuck about the launch of the new one.
Seriously, just imagine for a second that you're one of those people, who, despite all the strange, horrifying, tragic and hilarious things that happen every day in the world, believes that the "functionality" of a new phone is one of the most pressing issues facing our species. It's a phone, for fuck's sake. The internet (and especially Twitter) is stuffed to the crust with people whose raison d'etre is offering up their own goatee stroking analyses of things they've read about in the Guardian lifestyle section. Whether it be the new iPhone's Screen size, email capacity, or how fast you can flick through whatever applications you bother to download, there are apparently hundreds of thousands of people who believe this is a concern for all of humanity to discuss.
I would kill for the iPhone 5— Elena Tesluk (@elenaa_tesluk) September 12, 2012
I would sell my kidney for an iPhone 5— Donoso, J (@lookingforjoyce) September 13, 2012
I understand that the above statements are, of course, tongue in cheek, but they don't do anything to deny my (and a lot of other people's) theory that Apple is a kind of cult, an iSuicide away from its Jonestown moment. By far the most sinister aspect of Apple fanaticism is definitely the guys who've chosen to model themselves on Steve Jobs. You know the type: bald, thin glasses, pursed lips and an absolute refusal to wear a conventional collar or leather shoes. I'm not saying these guys touch children, but they aren't the kind of people you'd leave your kids with.
Another boring event that boring people have been getting worked up about this week is the Mecury Music Prize nominations. That really, really important music awards ceremony that gets guys who competed to sign Gerry & The Pacemakers round the table to discuss the merits of Skream and "the woman who's going to bring British jazz kicking and screaming into the mainstream".
And while it's a shame that some acts weren't nominated (*COUGH* Actress *COUGH*), it's not really worth getting worked up about is it? This is an awards ceremony that over the years has given awards to Talvin Singh, M People and Elbow (who are the worst band in Britain today, btw). In terms of credibility, it should really rank alongside the TV Quick awards and anything voted for by the public, but nope, supposedly smart people are treating it like the Nobels rather than the MOBOs.
If The Maccabees aren't on the Mercury list I will be outraged*looks pointedly at @laurenlaverne *— Nicola Richards (@NickyRR) September 12, 2012
Obviously I'm not saying that we should all only be able to talk about Hula massacres and fiscal policy (because god knows I'd be out of a job pretty quick), but really, the way people genuinely care about these things is just embarrassing. Po-faced op-eds and "outraged" social media updates from people who actually describe themselves as "aspiring journos" (which in terms of ambition these days, is a bit like being an "aspiring alcoholic") are seen as the pinnacle of cultural debate in this country.
It's almost like there's a code of what you have to talk about if you want to be taken seriously (Dr Who, The Olympics, Julian Assange, The Killing) and if you want to talk about something that stands apart from that horribly middle-brow world, you're seen as a crackpot or an idiot. The problem is all these subjects are just so fucking boring; they're simply "things that have happened" rather than anything that really impacts anybody.
I think it's a form of isolationism, people working themselves up into little rages about insignificant things because they can't bare to believe that the rest of the country is taking steroids and stomping each other's teeth into those pointless, little kerbs you find in pedestrianised shopping precincts.
The world might be a bastard, but it's our bastard. Let's learn to love it.
Follow Clive on Twitter: @thugclive
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